Three day Baisakhi Festival – A symbol of Nag Culture was celebrated in mountainous Bhadarwah Valley with full religious fervor and gaiety.
The ancient festival which marks the beginning of spring in this hilly region was celebrated for three days at different places symbolising the ancient Naga cult of Bhadarwah.
The first celebration was held on 12th of April at Subar Dhar 30 Km from Bhadarwah. On the occasion doors of 700-year-old Subar Nag Temple were thrown open. Hundreds of Nag devotees thronged the Subar Nag meadow to pay obeisance to the lord Subar Nag.
On this occasion dozens of sheep were sacrificed as per ancient custom. On the second day (13 April) doors of another ancient Nag Temple located in the dense forest on a hilltop known as Nagni Mata were opened for the devotees. Hundreds of pilgrims from across the state and elsewhere reached Baghwati Nagni Devi Temple for her blessings where beside paying obeisance at the Temple participated in traditional “Dheku Dance”.
And today on the final day of Baisakhi festival ,people from all walks of life through ancient Ghatha Temple which resides the main deity of Naga cult – The Vasuki Nag.
People were seen in traditional and colourful dresses greeting one an other and seeking blessings of Vasuki Nag.
“I have come all the way from Kandolo (Gandoh) to pay obeisance to all the three main serpent deities Subar Nag, Nagni Mata and Vasuki Nag. I am proud of my culture and this ancient culture needs to be preserved , highlighted and projected as a pilgrim attraction to the outer world,” said a pilgrim Rajan Manhas.
“I came here after my wish got fulfilled. I am ardent devote of Mata Bhagwati Nagni Devi and I wish I would come here every year, ” said another devotee Nitten Parihar.
“This is a wonderful site and a true symbol of Communal Harmony, as not only hindus but scores of Muslims also participated in this ancient festival,” said a pilgrim from Jammu Sahil Banotra.
Meanwhile,MLC Naresh Kumar Gupta on his visit to Nagni Devi Temple demanded immediate road connectivity to the ancient Nag Temple from Manthla village. “Nagni Mata Temple has got all potential to become a major pilgrim tourist destination but for that road connectivity, Dharamshala and toilets should be made at the earliest,” said MLC adding that I have already released 25 Lakhs from my Constituency Development Fund(CDF) for electrification of the temple but Govt should provide other basic amenities so that tourist can visit this ancient Temple throughout the year.